« Deep theory thoughts for a snowy Sunday | Main | Terrific coverage of capital (mis)representation »

January 21, 2007

When tough-on-crime bills come due

This AP article from Michigan provides another example of the tough political choices that arise when the costs of tough-on-crime politics start coming due.  Here are snippet from a very effective article:

Some politicians are as wary of freeing prisoners as they are of raising taxes. But with Michigan facing a daunting $800 million-plus budget hole this year, it's harder to ignore how much the state spends locking up criminals. States such as Illinois, Ohio and Pennsylvania have more residents than Michigan but incarcerate fewer inmates. Michigan's per-capita incarceration rate is the country's 11th-highest, ranks higher than seven other Great Lakes states and is fourth-highest among the 11 most populous states.

"The easy thing is to say, 'Don't let anybody out,'" said state Sen. Michael Switalski of Roseville, the top Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Committee. "Then you've got to pay the bill. But we're having trouble paying the bill." About 1,500 more inmates are being housed in state prisons this year than officials anticipated -- for a record-high total of more than 51,000.

Tom Clay, a budget guru with the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan, has given hundreds of talks about the state's fiscal status in recent years. He says people are startled to learn that Michigan spends more on prisons than public universities. Clay said during a November conference that Michigan's annual prison budget is $1.9 billion -- roughly a fifth of the general fund -- but would be closer to $1.4 billion if the state's incarceration rate wasn't 40 percent higher than that of its Great Lakes neighbors.

January 21, 2007 at 10:09 AM | Permalink

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451574769e200d83510370f69e2

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference When tough-on-crime bills come due:

Comments

My conclusion is that retribution trumps fiscal responsibility because often the legislature is responding to public outrage
over a recent heinous crime or a horrific case of vehicular homicide. In the 1980s Sir Geoffrey Palmer said the New Zealand had the "fastest law in the West" but I don't think it was that much faster than the legislatures in this county responding to public outrage. I wish there was some way to slow them down so they can consider the situation in a deliberative manner.

Posted by: John Neff | Jan 21, 2007 1:05:17 PM

There is a reason that the public gets outraged about the constant desire to be nice to criminals that seems to be a fixture of the left in this country. Read carefully this article: http://www.cnn.com/2007/LAW/01/19/couple.slain.ap/index.html

One will see that two of the animals have a long record, and it is not likely that the other two have no criminal history. Violent criminals need to be locked up. The price in blood is simply too high. It would be interesting if some journalists were to look into the reasons that two of these animals were free. My guess is that some judge wasn't willing to throw the book at them. I wonder how the people involved in giving these guys the sentences that they received feel now.

Posted by: federalist | Jan 21, 2007 4:55:43 PM

Ah yes, another rant from "hang 'em high" federalist. "animals"? Hmm, what sobriquet shall we use for you? Your sympathy for those less fortunate than you is heart warming.

Posted by: Bernie Kleinman | Jan 21, 2007 5:06:04 PM

Well, Bernie, if you read what happened to the two victims in this case, I suspect that you'd feel that animals were the ones insulted by my post. As for sympathy for the less fortunate, well, that pretty much evaporates when violent crime is involved. We can all get into the debate about how responsible people are for their actions, but it is plain that if a society does not lock up violent criminals for a long time, innocent people pay the price. Why should two young adults pay the price so that people like you, Bernie, can feel more enlightened?

I am all for a critical examination of our incarceration policies--so that we make sure that we are getting the most bang for our incarceration dollar. But one thing is non-negotiable, repeated violent offenders need to be aged out, i.e., kept in prison until they die or are decrepit old men. At least two of the four violent criminals that participated in this outrage should not have been free. But they were, and now there are two young innoncent people in a coffin. I think that justifies a rant.

Here's hoping that the perps of this awful crime get death.

Posted by: federalist | Jan 21, 2007 5:19:07 PM

"I am all for a critical examination of our incarceration policies--so that we make sure that we are getting the most bang for our incarceration dollar." I think the only "bang" that would satisfy you is the sound that comes out of the executioner's gun. And, regarding your reference to "animals", I think that PETA should be aware of your violent attitudes towards our 4-legged friends.

Posted by: Bernie Kleinman | Jan 22, 2007 12:46:39 PM

I am currently a college student at Cleveland State University. I was previously an inmate in Ohio's penal system for 15 years. I am doing a research paper on the adverse effects of "Get Tough on Crime Laws." Specifically, tax payers pay larger amounts of money to house inmates for longer periods of time, but these same taxpayers potentially pay an even heftier price when inmates are released back into society after serving extraordinary long prison terms with no education or vocational skills. It is like a double edged sword: the money used to house inmates for longer periods of time should be used on educational and vocational programs, with an emphasis on rehabilitation for shorter prison terms. If this is not done, taxpayers ultimately pay more tax dollars when offenders are released and have to rely on welfare and other government assistance programs. An even worse case scenario is the price that some taxpayers may pay when prisoners are released with no education, training, or hope to be anything other than an even more violent and bitter criminal the they were prior to being incarcerated.

If you have any data or reading materials on this subject, I would appreciate it if you would forward them to me. Thank you.

Posted by: Anthony J. Hawley, Jr. | Feb 27, 2007 10:21:58 PM

I was reading the blog, and feel citizens need to know how much the state would save by other sentencing programs other than prison! we need fliers out on their doors so they can see the real statistics.I have a nephew lodged in the Mound correctional facility in detroit. First time offender, and he was 18 when arrested. Now 19 yrs old, sitting there, wasting his youth learning how to be a professional criminal! I am on a personal crusade, to get him out of his 3yr, 9 month sentence, to a boot camp program where he will learn physically, and emotionally not to commit another crime. He cannot even get an appointment to talk to his counselor about enrolling in college classes! They tell him they are to busy...they have emergencies to tend to. It has been going on for three weeks.After Boot Camp, he needs community corrections, do you know what i am getting at? One more thing, did you know inmates can get their teeth whiten? At least they will look good committing their next crime, so tax payers know that?

Posted by: Melissa Klos | Oct 29, 2007 9:05:53 PM

I was reading the blog, and feel citizens need to know how much the state would save by other sentencing programs other than prison! we need fliers out on their doors so they can see the real statistics.I have a nephew lodged in the Mound correctional facility in detroit. First time offender, and he was 18 when arrested. Now 19 yrs old, sitting there, wasting his youth learning how to be a professional criminal! I am on a personal crusade, to get him out of his 3yr, 9 month sentence, to a boot camp program where he will learn physically, and emotionally not to commit another crime. He cannot even get an appointment to talk to his counselor about enrolling in college classes! They tell him they are to busy...they have emergencies to tend to. It has been going on for three weeks.After Boot Camp, he needs community corrections, do you know what i am getting at? One more thing, did you know inmates can get their teeth whiten? At least they will look good committing their next crime, so tax payers know that?

Posted by: Melissa Klos | Oct 29, 2007 9:06:26 PM

I was reading the blog, and feel citizens need to know how much the state would save by other sentencing programs other than prison! we need fliers out on their doors so they can see the real statistics.I have a nephew lodged in the Mound correctional facility in detroit. First time offender, and he was 18 when arrested. Now 19 yrs old, sitting there, wasting his youth learning how to be a professional criminal! I am on a personal crusade, to get him out of his 3yr, 9 month sentence, to a boot camp program where he will learn physically, and emotionally not to commit another crime. He cannot even get an appointment to talk to his counselor about enrolling in college classes! They tell him they are to busy...they have emergencies to tend to. It has been going on for three weeks.After Boot Camp, he needs community corrections, do you know what i am getting at? One more thing, did you know inmates can get their teeth whiten? At least they will look good committing their next crime, so tax payers know that?

Posted by: Melissa Klos | Oct 29, 2007 9:06:33 PM

I was reading the blog, and feel citizens need to know how much the state would save by other sentencing programs other than prison! we need fliers out on their doors so they can see the real statistics.I have a nephew lodged in the Mound correctional facility in detroit. First time offender, and he was 18 when arrested. Now 19 yrs old, sitting there, wasting his youth learning how to be a professional criminal! I am on a personal crusade, to get him out of his 3yr, 9 month sentence, to a boot camp program where he will learn physically, and emotionally not to commit another crime. He cannot even get an appointment to talk to his counselor about enrolling in college classes! They tell him they are to busy...they have emergencies to tend to. It has been going on for three weeks.After Boot Camp, he needs community corrections, do you know what i am getting at? One more thing, did you know inmates can get their teeth whiten? At least they will look good committing their next crime, so tax payers know that?

Posted by: Melissa Klos | Oct 29, 2007 9:06:44 PM

As a life-long lefty, I have no problem with keeping "animals" (genuinely violent, dangerous offenders) locked up if their convictions followed thorough, objective investigations and honest, temperate prosecutions (no perjury by cops or agents or malleable testimony from snitches seeking leniency for themselves or hidden exculpatory evidence, etc.)

It's the first-offender, non-violent victims of the excesses of grandstanding pols, drug-warriors, RICO gangbusters and stunningly ambitious prosecutors that I worry about.

The mere fact of being in prison these days doesn't say much about where individual inmates should fall on the good guy-animal continuum.

Posted by: John K | May 26, 2009 12:50:02 PM

Hi. Nice to see an honest attempt at presenting some well researched information. Had a nice time reading. Keep up the good work,

Posted by: adipex diet pills | Mar 22, 2010 4:05:24 PM

There is no problem on giving aid to those juvenile individual. If they think it could help the person to give a second chance it is better. Don't let their dreams shattered and let them give the life that they could have.

Posted by: Boot Camps | Apr 19, 2010 10:55:12 AM

Specifically, tax payers pay larger amounts of money to house inmates for longer periods of time, but these same taxpayers potentially pay an even heftier price when inmates are released back into society after serving extraordinary long prison terms with no education or vocational skills.

Posted by: nike basketball shoes | Dec 30, 2010 1:04:28 AM

I certainly enjoyed the way you explore your experience and knowledge of the subject! Keep up on it. Thanks for sharing the info

Posted by: wholesale sunglasses | Jul 26, 2011 10:04:51 AM

hey buddy,this is one of the best posts that I’ve ever seen; you may include some more ideas in the same theme. I’m still waiting for some interesting thoughts from your side in your next post

Posted by: hip hop beats | Jul 26, 2011 10:29:18 AM

I am very enjoyed for this side. Its a nice topic. It help me very much to solve some problems. Its opportunity are so fantastic and working style so speedy. I think it may be help all of you. Thanks,

Posted by: Salsa shoes Toronto | Jul 26, 2011 10:30:28 AM

Many thanks for making the sincere effort to explain this. I feel fairly strong about it and would like to read more. If it's OK, as you find out more in depth knowledge, would you mind writing more posts similar to this one with more information?

Posted by: suoramarkkinointi | Jul 26, 2011 10:31:11 AM

All the contents you mentioned in post is too good and can be very useful. I will keep it in mind, thanks for sharing the information. Keep updating, looking forward for more posts. Thanks.

Posted by: glo minerals pressed base | Jul 26, 2011 10:32:13 AM

Just want to say your article is stunning. The lucidity in your post is simply striking and i can assume you are an expert on this subject. Well with your permission allow me to grab your rss feed to keep up to date with incoming post. Thanks a million and please keep up the delightful work.

Posted by: laser hair comb | Jul 26, 2011 10:33:13 AM

If possible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more information? It is extremely helpful for me.

Posted by: reniu pure fiji | Jul 26, 2011 10:34:15 AM

your blog needs to be one of the best written blogs that I have learn in a protracted time.What I wouldn't give as a way to put up posts which might be as interesting| as yours. I guess I will have to continue studying yours and pray that someday I will write on a subject with as a lot wisdom as you have! Bravo!!

Posted by: Sunnen | Jul 30, 2011 11:06:13 AM

enjoyed the way you explore your experience and knowledge of the subject! Keep up on it. Thanks for sharing the info

Posted by: kids clothing | Jul 30, 2011 11:07:27 AM

by the way you covered this topic. It is not often I come across a blog with captivating articles like yours. I will note your feed to keep up to date with your approaching updates.Just striking and do uphold up the good work.

Posted by: A-maths tuition | Jul 30, 2011 11:10:22 AM

It is extremely helpful for me.What i wouldn't give as a way to put up posts which might be as interesting as yours.I guess i will have to continue studying yours and pray that someday i will write on a subject with as a lot wisdom as you have!I will note your feed to keep up to date with your approaching updates.Help For Troubled Teens

Posted by: richard | Aug 21, 2011 4:11:44 AM

MG! I have to say, your blog needs to be one of the best written blogs that I have learn in a protracted time.What I wouldn't give as a way to put up posts which might be as interesting| as yours

Posted by: How to Start a Handyman Business | Sep 10, 2011 8:16:34 PM

Many thanks for making the sincere effort to explain this. I feel fairly strong about it and would like to read more. If it's OK, as you find out more in depth knowledge, would you mind writing more posts similar to this one with more information?

Posted by: decking repair | Sep 19, 2011 3:15:19 AM

OMG! I have to say, your blog needs to be one of the best written blogs that I have learn in a protracted time.What I wouldn't give as a way to put up posts which might be as interesting| as yours. I guess I will have to continue studying yours and pray that someday I will write on a subject with as a lot wisdom as you have! Bravo!!

Posted by: wholesale jewelry | Sep 22, 2011 10:11:45 AM

I am very enjoyed for this side. Its a nice topic. It help me very much to solve some problems. Its opportunity are so fantastic and working style so speedy. I think it may be help all of you. Thanks

Posted by: Android Themes | Sep 25, 2011 4:15:59 PM

eqwsds dsada

Posted by: test | Oct 1, 2011 1:37:57 PM

With all the doggone snow we have had as of late I am stuck indoors, fortunately there is the internet, thanks for giving me something to do.

Posted by: youngblood mineral cosmetic | Oct 19, 2011 4:57:13 AM

I really appreciate your post and you explain each and every point very well.Thanks for sharing this information.And I’ll love to read your next post too.

Posted by: online computer store | Oct 23, 2011 10:07:11 AM

Let me begin by saying good post. Im not sure if it has been talked about, but when utilizing Chrome I can never get the whole site to load with out refreshing many times. Might just be my computer. Thanks.

Posted by: microchip pic microcontroller | Nov 3, 2011 9:38:47 AM

This is a great article tackling some of the most difficult issues we have to face in the work place.
Adapting is one of the main things I think is important and so is tackling hard work head on and not waiting

Posted by: y8 | Jan 16, 2012 9:07:26 PM

Cool post ! Many thanks for, posting on my blog man. I shall message you all over again! I didnt know that.

Posted by: friv | Jan 16, 2012 9:17:24 PM

I think that there is because of the intruders coming from abroad might be the cause of these crimes.This is the reason why Michigan has to spend far more ohio,Pennsylvania and Illinois.

Posted by: Saving Money | Jan 21, 2012 4:43:08 PM

I have a problem with the overall premise of your post but I still think its really informative. I still really like your writing style. Keep up the good work.

Posted by: trt 2012 documentary awards | Jan 23, 2012 3:35:38 PM

"People are startled to learn that Michigan spends more on prisons than public universities."

Posted by: Cellulaze | Apr 15, 2012 8:55:14 PM

The states would ensure that virtually all students achieve the Certificate of Initial Mastery. Most of the current high school examinations are also first given in the 10th grade even though US students are usually not expected to have completed high school until grade 12.

Posted by: New Haven graduation cap and gown | Aug 28, 2012 3:54:05 AM

Post a comment

In the body of your email, please indicate if you are a professor, student, prosecutor, defense attorney, etc. so I can gain a sense of who is reading my blog. Thank you, DAB